Russian President Vladimir Putin clinched his fifth term in office on Monday, emerging victorious in an election devoid of any significant opposition. With a reported 87% of the vote, as declared by Russia's election commission, Putin celebrated his triumph over a handful of nominal opposition candidates, citing it as a testament to the trust of the Russian people in his leadership.

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Addressing supporters after polls closed, Putin emphasized the resilience of the Russian populace, asserting that attempts to intimidate or suppress their will had failed in the past and would continue to do so in the future. However, Putin's victory comes amidst widespread criticism of his administration's crackdown on dissent, notably highlighted by the recent death of prominent activist Alexei Navalny in a Russian prison.

Having already governed Russia for nearly 25 years, Putin's securing of another 6-year term further solidifies his grip on power. The election commission reported a record-breaking 76 million votes in his favor, although the outcome was met with disdain in the West, with President Biden yet to comment on the election.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron dismissed the election as lacking the hallmarks of free and fair elections, echoing sentiments of discontent in the international community. Protests outside polling stations and Russian embassies worldwide underscored dissatisfaction, with allies of Navalny, including his wife Yulia Navalnaya, rallying for justice.

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Putin's acknowledgment of Navalny's death for the first time sparked controversy, with his assertion that a prisoner exchange plan had been in place for Navalny just days after his demise drawing criticism. In a bid to deflect attention, Putin shifted focus to U.S. election issues, deriding the legal challenges faced by former President Trump and asserting that the world was mocking the United States.